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Posted by Dr. Scott Solberg on May 09, 2018

A Good Steward


WHAT IS THE “IRREDUCIBLE CORE"?
It is the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. It is the recognition that there are a lot of things we can do as a church, but these three things we must do. We must love God. We must love others. We must make disciples.

So back to the comment of this young lady: “I get love God and love others, but I thought making disciples was your job.”

I think her statement may be a common misconception about what it looks like to “make disciples.” We have turned it into a class that requires a teacher. We have turned it into a book that requires explaining. And so an “expert” of some kind is needed to “make disciples.” his automatically puts the task of making disciples out of the reach of most of the church.

But nothing could be further from the truth. We all contribute to “making disciples” when we take the gifts God has given us and use them to encourage others. In fact, Paul says that when we each use our gifts to serve it matures the whole body of Christ. He says, “we attain the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).

In other words, when you use your spiritual gifts to serve, you contribute to making disciples.

In “Our Way of Life” we daily affirm: “I will invest what I have been given for the work of God’s kingdom.”

Through a series of parables in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25, Jesus tells us what it looks like to be good stewards. He tells us how to invest what we have been given to bless others.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins: This parable tells us to live our lives in anticipation of the soon return of Jesus. In this parable, five virgins were found waiting for the bridegroom and five were not. The implication is that we want to be found ready when Jesus returns. (Matthew 25:1-13)

The Parable of the Talents: The next parable tells us what it looks like to “wait for the return of Jesus.” It does not imply sitting around and doing nothing. Rather, it involves investing the “talents” that God has given us for the work of God’s kingdom. We have all been given different gifts and abilities. The expectation is that we use them to bless others. (Matthew 25:14-30)

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats: This parable speaks to the final judgment when the righteous are separated from the unrighteous. And what is it that distinguishes these two groups from each other? It is what is done or not done “to the least of these.” Who are “the least of these?” In the context of Matthew, they are the disciples, the followers of Jesus (Matthew 10:40-41).

So put it all together. As we wait for the return of Jesus, we do so by investing the gifts God has given to us by serving his people. In doing this, we make disciples.

“I will invest what I’ve been given for the work of God’s kingdom.”

 

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